The San Diego County Water Authority is calling on all residents and businesses to immediately turn off irrigation systems to help conserve water. Rain is forecast for the San Diego region beginning Thursday afternoon and continuing possibly through Monday. Irrigation systems can remain off for a minimum of a week to 10 days after a rainfall and longer if significant precipitation occurs.
The region’s water supplies have been impacted by drought conditions around California over the last two years and meteorologists have forecast 2009 to be another extremely dry winter. In addition, regulatory restrictions on pumping from the State Water Project to protect threatened fish species have significantly cut water deliveries from Northern California.
The Water Authority estimates a voluntary one-week hiatus from using landscape watering systems across the region could save 2,000 acre-feet of water. An acre-foot is enough water to meet the needs of two families of four for a year. Water saved now will help offset future water supply reductions.
To determine when it is necessary to turn water systems back on, the Water Authority recommends monitoring soil moisture by sticking a shovel or your finger into the dirt. When the soil is dry one to two inches deep, it is time to water again.
Other water conservation tips, incentives and programs are available at: www.20gallonchallenge.com.
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